Elves or Eldrazi?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Happy New Year! I hope Santa brought everyone what they asked for, and then some! I’ve got no FNM report this week as I am working but I do pose a dilemma to you folks. With Channel Fireball hosting a Grand Prix in my neck of the woods come February I have but one question to ask of you; Elves or Eldrazi?

On February 9th 2019, Channel Fireball is hosting a modern Grand Prix in Toronto, Canada. I love the modern format; I love the huge card pool, the wideness of the field, and the fact that you can make just about anything work.

When Battle for Zendikar got released I fell in love with a majority of the eldrazi cards that got released. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, what an absolute monster. I played the dickens out of him in standard, but once he rotated I didn’t want to let him die. I threw him together with some all-star Oath of the Gatewatch eldrazi like Thought-Knot Seer, and Reality Smasher, and some removal and disruption spells, and poof; my black-white eldrazi list was born. This was the deck that made me fall in love with modern. This was deck I turned to after I bombed out of GP Toronto three years ago. I sold my jund walker standard list on the Saturday and bought all of the pieces in order to play in the Face to Face Open on Sunday. Even thought I only went 4-4 in the event, the deck felt amazing to pilot, and over the years I have refined the build to be exactly what I want it to be. With every new set comes some new upgrades, and the deck will evolve to be the best version of itself.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m a total sucker for tribal decks. Whether it be dinosaurs in commander, or slivers back in m14 standard. So when WotC decided to unban Bloodbraid Elf, it got my mental wheels turning. One of my favourite all time cards is Elvish Mystic, so I thought to myself ‘hey, why not build an elf deck?’ So I threw together a green/red elf deck and played around with it a wee bit online but felt it was lacking something. Something insanely unfair either cascade into or hit off of Collected Company That’s when I got the spicy notion to add black to the deck and run Shaman of the Pack. I was told multiple times from certain people at a certain uber competitive LGS that running Jund Elves was a terrible idea and it would never work. Well guess who proved them wrong? It was me…. I proved them wrong. Now this deck has had some changes since I posted the original list on the blog back in February of this year; specifically dropping the Elvish Visionary‘s in favour of Elvish Clancaller, as well as adding the turn two surprise all-star Steel Leaf Champion. So here is the Jund Elves list.

Pros & Cons of Eldrazi

This deck can play two very different ways. Sometimes the deck gives you a couple of black sources and a myriad of discard spells like Inquisition of Kozilek, and Thoughtseize. Then on the other hand it might give you back to back Eldrazi Temples and a Thought-Knot Seer. Regardless of how the deck starts, the main goal is to grind your opponent out of resources and finish them with a big eldrazi boi. The deck has a total of 13 removal spells, and eight hand disruption spells. Main deck Relic of Progenitus means we have a main board answer to a lot of pesky decks like dredge, and reanimation strategies. Having Lingering Souls allows us to deal with ‘go wide’ decks and also synergizes well with Collective Brutality The deck has multiple lands that act as utility like Vault of the Archangel, Sea Gate Wreckage, and Detection Tower. The deck has great answers in the sideboard that help me deal with big boards, combo decks, and has more removable than you can shake a stick at.

The issue with the deck is the reason it is so good, the versatility. There are times when you get the the great disruption spells, but the eldrazi land, and sometimes it’s vice versa. The deck can be quite clunky, and there in lies it’s one major flaw. A large potential for mana screw and a crazy high curve can lead to some super unfortunate losses.

Pros & Cons of Elves

They told me it would never work. They called me a mad man, and if I wasn’t this would probably never work. This deck is super fast, able to pump out turn four/five kills. Some people ask why I don’t just run the green black variant? The answer is simple, Bloodbraid Elf and Atarka’s Command. BBE gives us the fancy ability to cascade into another spell. Sometimes the cascade hits something soft, but sometimes it will hit Shaman of the Pack and just chunk out our opponent. Atarka’s Command can also steal games if my opponent isn’t careful. If we end up having to go a wee bit wide and do a risky swing? We can pump the team and bolt our opponent. The deck is very capable of going off when we only have two land. Considering a majority of the creatures in the deck can generate mana, and Heritage Druid can turn all of our creatures into dorks, we can dump our hand very quickly. The combination of Elvish Archdruid and Ezuri, Renegade Leader enables us to Overrun our creatures multiple times to just demolish our opponents.

Since the deck is so land light, some well placed removal spells from an opponent can leave us stranded. Also, a three colour deck with fewer than average lands can leave us a little worse for wear if we have red spells in our hand and no red sources to cast them. Another flaw in the deck is that if we get blown out by say an Anger of the Gods, it can be incredibly difficult to rebuild.

Conclusion

So, what do you think? Do we play elves or eldrazi? I think I know where I’m leaning personally, but I am open to opinions!

Stay tuned for something spicy coming this week. Stay salty my friends.

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